Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo was a Spanish Basque essayist, novelist, poet, playwright, philosopher, professor of Greek and Classics, and later rector at the University of Salamanca.
Unamuno did not begin to publish poetry until the age of forty-three. His first book, Poesías (1907), used common Spanish to offer the poet’s impressions of nature and travel. Unamuno had translated the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Giacomo Leopoardi, and their influence on his early work is clear. In 1907, he published Rosario de sonetos lícos (Rosary of Sonnets, 1911), which was followed in 1920 by El Cristo de Velasquez (translated as The Christ of Velasquez, 1951). Begun in 1913, The Christ of Velasquez ran 2,538 lines and reflects the poet’s desire to define a uniquely Spanish Christ. Many people consider it to be Unamuno’s greatest poem.